Monday, January 24, 2011

Just Monkeying Around... Updated Monkey Bread

At the risk of sounding slightly like a dork (oops I may have already blown that in other entries), I really think Monkeying Around it quite delightful. Especially when we live on Flathead Lake and all of our neighbors have gone somewhere warm for the winter. We have to do something to entertain ourselves.

That is the inspiration for this Banana Monkey Bread. I was getting tired of using our old banana's purely for muffins and breads, so I decided to take an old favorite and give it a little twist of banana and brandy! Sounds pretty good right? Well, it is! And my favorite part is that it's finger food. You can just pull apart the individual pieces and tear it all up. It makes breakfast (or any meal for that matter) a little more fun.

Plus we don't use ANY fat in the recipe and it still manages to taste sinful. I know some of you may doubt that 'healthy' can be delicious. For those non-believers I challange you to make this Monkeying around bread and see for yourself.

This bread has only 110 calories and 1.2 grams of fat. The original Monkey Bread has 418 calories and 17.7 grams of fat. I am saving you nearly 300 calories and 16 grams of fat and sacrificing none of the flavor. I actually enhanced the flavor with notes of banana and brandy! Now that doesn't suck does it? And there is more than 3 grams of protein and over 2 grams of fiber! And this is a decadent breakfast treat... Are you changing your tune yet?

Eat this along side a fried egg and some Canadian bacon for a complete breakfast or serve this to your family for snack time warm right out of the oven. You will have a blast pulling the bread apart. And don't worry the brandy cooks out so this is kid friendly.

Now let's get monkeying around, shall we?

Banana Monkey Bread
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup Splenda
1/4 cup milled flax seed
2 mashed bananas (3/4 cup banana)
2/3 cup low fat milk

For the filling:
2 large ripe banana; mashed
1/4 cup Splenda
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the topping:

1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
1/4 cup brandy

1. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, splenda, and milled flax seed in a large bowl with a wire whisk.

2. Add the mashed banana and combine with your fingers until the dough forms a crumbly dough. Then add the milk and continue mixing until a soft dough forms.

3. Kneed dough lightly until it is less sticky. It will still be slightly sticky, however use extra whole wheat flour to prevent it from sticking to your  hands. Roll into an 8 X 8 square and cut into 16 equal squares.

4. In a separate bowl combine the filling ingredients (the banana, splenda, cinnamon, and vanilla) and mix using a whisk. Place a 1/2 tsp. of filling in the middle of each square of dough and roll up around the filling sealing it into a ball with the banana mixture inside. (I wish I had a picture of this, but my hands were a mess!) Place each ball in a greased cake pan or spring release pan (the kind you use for cheesecake). Keep layering and adding the balls to pile them so they make layers.

5. Mix the maple syrup and brandy together and add if there is any remaining banana mixture add that to the sugar free syrup and brandy. Pour over the top of the banana balls.

6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. It will come out moist and delicious!
Servings: 12

Nutritional Skinny:

110 calories / 1.2 g fat / 20 g carbohydrates / 2.4 g fiber / 3.3 g protein 

Mental Health Benefit: One of the best things about this recipe is that instead of using butter, we are using mashed banana. So instead of adding fat, we add flavor and get an even better result that you can really feel good about. And by using Splenda and sugar free maple syrup you are cutting down on nearly 300 empty calories. And since splenda is made from real sugar you don't have to worry about eating less than natural foods. Here is your health and wellness in this new year!

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